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Vatican: China Violated Terms of Agreement With ‘Prolonged and Heavy Pressure’ to Install Bishop in Fictitious Communist ‘Diocese of Jiangxi’…

Jiangxi is a diocese that is not recognized by the Vatican. Bishop John Peng Weizhao, on the other hand, was legitimately appointed by Pope Francis in 2014 and secretly ordained as an underground bishop of Yujiang. The Vatican said on Saturday that Chinese authorities had violated the terms stipulated in its provisional agreement on the appointment of bishops. A statement released on Nov. 26 said that “the Holy See noted with surprise and regret” that Bishop John Peng Weizhao had been installed as an “auxiliary bishop of Jiangxi,” a diocese that is not recognized by the Vatican. Bishop Peng’s installation ceremony in Nanchang, China, “did not occur in accordance with the spirit of dialogue … and what was stipulated in the Provisional Agreement on the Appointment of Bishops, on September 22...

Hong Kong Court Convicts Cardinal Zen and 5 Other Democracy Advocates…

The 90-year-old cardinal and former bishop of Hong Kong was fined about $500 (HK$4,000). Cardinal Joseph Zen and five others were found guilty on Friday of failing to register a fund that helped pay for the legal fees and medical treatments of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters. The 90-year-old cardinal and former bishop of Hong Kong was fined about $500 (HK$4,000). Each of the other trustees of the now-defunct 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund was fined the same amount.  Cardinal Zen told reporters after the verdict on Nov. 25: “Although I‘m a religious figure, I hope this [case] won’t be associated with our freedom of religion. It’s not related.” The cardinal appeared at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Court wearing a pectoral cross, clerical color and a facemask. He used a cane to w...

Bishop Rick Stika, Diocese of Knoxville to Face Vatican-Ordered Apostolic Visitation Next Week…

A Vatican-ordered apostolic visitation will be conducted in the Diocese of Knoxville next week, several sources close to the diocese told The Pillar. Sources told The Pillar Friday that Bishops Barry Knestout of Richmond and Michael Burbidge of Arlington have been directed to visit with priests, diocesan officials, and lay Catholics over several days, amid ongoing concern over the leadership of Bishop Rick Stika. The decision to commission an on-site assessment of the diocese comes more than 18 months after priests in the diocese reported to the Vatican concerns about Stika’s handling of reports against a former diocesan seminarian, who was accused of sexually harassing and assaulting other seminarians and a parish organist. While the Vatican had previously directed Archbishop Joseph Kurtz...

Cardinal Becciu Loses Lawsuit Alleging His Reputation for Shadiness Thwarted His Ambitions to Become Pope…

An Italian court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Cardinal Angelo Becciu which alleged that unfavorable media coverage cost him his chance to be pope. After recent legal setbacks in two lawsuits, the cardinal is ordered to pay thousands in damages and court costs. Italian journalists reported Wednesday that Becciu’s lawsuit against Italian newsmagazine L’Espresso has been dismissed in a civil court of Sanssari, in Sardinia. A judge ordered the cardinal to pay the magazine’s legal costs.. Becciu filed suit against L’Espresso in November 2020, weeks after he was sacked from his curial positions by Pope Francis and ordered to resign his rights as a cardinal. The cardinal’s lawsuit claimed L’Espresso’s coverage of the financial scandal at the Secretariat of State had contributed unfairly to th...

Pope Francis Removes Caritas Internationalis Leaders, Appoints Temporary Administrator…

Caritas Internationalis, founded in 1951, is a Catholic confederation of 162 charitable organizations based in 200 countries around the world. Pope Francis on Tuesday removed the entire leadership of an international confederation of charities and appointed a temporary administrator to improve the organization’s management. Pope Francis issued a decree Nov. 22 appointing Pier Francesco Pinelli, an Italian management consultant, as temporary administrator of Caritas Internationalis (CI). With the same ordinance, the Pope said the positions of the Catholic confederation’s leadership are to cease immediately. This decision includes Caritas Internationalis president Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle and secretary general Aloysius John. The positions of the vice presidents, treasurer, ecclesiastical ...

Albany Bishop Howard Hubbard, Facing Allegations of Sexually Abusing Minors, Asks Vatican for Laicization…

Editor’s note: This report was updated Sat. Nov. 19 to include a statement from the Albany diocese. Bishop Howard Hubbard has petitioned Pope Francis for laicization, the former bishop of Albany announced Friday. Hubbard, 84, is facing allegations of sexually abusing minors, and has admitted to knowingly reassigning abuser priests and failing to report instances of abuse to law enforcement. The bishop said his decision to be laicized came because of restrictions on his ministry as a priest – a claim the Albany diocese rejected as untrue on Saturday. And while Hubbard has declined to answer questions about the matter, sources have instead told The Pillar that the bishop has expressed the hope to marry if he is laicized by the Vatican. The bishop announced via a statement Nov. 18 that ...

Pope Francis in the Asti Cathedral: ‘Make Servants of Ourselves, in Order to Reign With Christ the King’…

On Saturday, besides lunch in his cousin’s home in Portocomaro, he also stopped at a church and visited a nursing home and residence for the elderly. The pope stayed overnight in the town of Asti, where he celebrated Mass at the cathedral and ate lunch with Bishop Marco Prastaro, before flying back to the Vatican by helicopter on Sunday afternoon. Christ became a slave “so that each of us could become a son,” Francis said at Mass Nov. 20. “He let himself be insulted and derided, so that whenever we are brought low, we will never feel alone. He let himself be stripped of his garments, so that no one would ever feel stripped of his or her rightful dignity. He ascended the cross, so that God would be present in every crucified man or woman throughout history.” “Today, as Jesus, naked on the c...

1,700 Years After Nicaea, Ecumenical Patriarch Says 2025 May See Historic Catholic-Orthodox Easter Date Agreement…

By AC Wimmer CNA Newsroom, Nov 18, 2022 / 07:30 am In a move that could lead to Catholics and Orthodox celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ at the same time, the spiritual leader of the world’s Eastern Orthodox Christians has confirmed his support for finding a common date to celebrate Easter. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople told media that conversations are underway between Church representatives to come to an agreement, Zenit reported this week. According to an earlier report by Vatican News, the patriarch supports such a common date to be set for the year 2025, which will mark the 1,700th anniversary of the First Ecumenical Council of Nicea.  Previously, Orthodox Archbishop Job Getcha of Telmessos also suggested that 2025 would be a good year to introduce...

Vatican to Consider Elevating Las Vegas to Metropolitan Archdiocese, With Reno and Salt Lake City as Suffragan Sees…

The Vatican will consider a plan to elevate the Diocese of Las Vegas to a metropolitan see, after U.S. bishops were consulted on the plan during their fall plenary meeting in Baltimore. The plan would see Las Vegas become an archdiocese, with the Dioceses of Reno and Salt Lake City as suffragan dioceses, sources close to the U.S. bishops’ conference told The Pillar. After consultation on the idea during an executive session of the USCCB this week, the proposal will be considered by the Congregation for Bishops in the Vatican curia, before a final decision from Pope Francis, sources added. The Las Vegas diocese was erected in 1995, when its territory in southern Nevada was carved from the Diocese of Reno. In 2020, the diocese had at least 600,000 Catholics, constituting nearly 30% of the re...

U.S. Bishops Decide to Put off Rewriting Voting Guide Until After 2024 Election…

By Zelda Caldwell Baltimore, Md., Nov 16, 2022 / 17:30 pm The U.S. Catholic bishops will postpone writing a full revision of the teaching document on the political responsibility of Catholic voters until after the 2024 election. The teaching document, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” is meant to advise Catholic voters on how to apply Church teaching to the decisions they make in the ballot box. The guide, for example, states that the abortion should be a “preeminent” political issue for Catholics.  In the introduction to the 2019 document, the bishops wrote: “The threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority because it directly attacks life itself, because it takes place within the sanctuary of the family, and because of the number of lives destroyed. At the same t...

Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services Elected USCCB President…

The archbishop has been a staunch defender of religious-freedom protections for those serving in the military. BALTIMORE, Md. — Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, was elected Tuesday to head the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) for the next three years in a vote of 138-99. Archbishop Broglio will be taking the role after serving for three years as secretary of the conference. Archbishop Broglio was viewed as a likely candidate for the role after he was nearly elected to serve as vice president for the USCCB in 2019 but lost a runoff election to Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron. The USCCB vice president usually goes on to serve in the role of president, but Archbishop Vigneron is ineligible for the role of president due to the fact that...

Willem Cardinal Eijk of Utrecht, Netherlands, Asks Pope for Encyclical Warning Against Gender Theory…

Cardinal Wim Eijk, the Archbishop of Utrecht in The Netherlands, has asked for a papal encyclical warning against gender theory. The request was made in meetings with Vatican officials during the Dutch bishops ad limina visit in Rome. “I have asked if it would not be good for the pope to issue an encyclical on gender thinking”, the cardinal said Wednesday evening at a press conference in Rome, Dutch newspapers Nederlands Dagblad and Katholiek Nieuwsblad report. “Gender theory is being pushed in all kinds of organizations and we as a Church have not said that much about it,” Eijk said. According to the cardinal, there is a need for an encyclical, an important papal document in which the teachings of the Church are explained and, if necessary, further developed. The Dutch cardinal, who is a ...